Archive for the ‘News’ Category

PWRDF sends extra money to Egypt for Syrian refugees

Posted on: February 25th, 2015 by CEP Administrator No Comments
News

By Anglican Journal Staff

 

 Funding constraints forced the World Food Program to suspend rations to refugees in Egypt in early December. An emergency fundraising campaign allowed the WFP to resume distribution of food vouchers, but in 2015, the WFP was again forced to reduce their monthly value from US$24 to US$16. Photo: World Food Programme


 

The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF) has sent an additional $21,000 to its long-time partner, Refuge Egypt, to help care for an influx of Syrian refugees who have fled to Cairo, adding to the already large population of refugees in the city, mostly from Sudan and South Sudan.

According to information from PWRDF, 255,000 refugees live in Cairo, including 160,000 people who have come from Syria since the war began there in 2011. Refugees in Cairo are not in camps but “live as they can throughout the city.”

Refuge Egypt is a ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of Egypt, which has been supporting refugees in Cairo since 1987. PWRDF, the Anglican Church of Canada’s relief and development arm, has provided support for more than 20 years. PWRDF communications co-ordinator Simon Chambers said in an interview that in recent years, support has included two children’s medical clinics that provide health care, health education and nutrition support to children age five and under, as well as to their families.

When a family brings their child to a clinic, they receive a food basket with milk, rice, cooking oil, biscuits, cheese and peanut butter. “It’s part of their cohesive strategy around health, but it is a very tangible piece,” said Chambers. These visits are an opportunity for clinic staff to monitor the growth of the children, check for malnutrition and disease, keep vaccinations up to date and educate parents about proper nutrition.

The additional funds bring PWRDF’s 2015 support for the ministry to $39,352.

The UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) also distributes vouchers for food to Syrian refugees in Egypt, but that program has been strained and interrupted at times by funding shortages.

Funding constraints forced the WFP to suspend rations to refugees in Egypt in early December, according to WFP senior spokesperson Steve Taravella. An emergency fundraising campaign allowed the WFP to resume distribution of food vouchers several weeks later, but in 2015, the WFP was again forced to reduce the value of the monthly vouchers from US$24 to US$16 for January, February and March. “Reducing the value of the voucher like this allows us to continue to help a greater number of people, basically stretching the funds over a longer period of time while ensuring that people have some basic sustenance,” he said in an interview with the Anglican Journal.

Taravella noted that the WFP spends approximately $31 million every week to provide food to internally displaced people in Syria and refugees in the neighbouring countries of Egypt, Iraq, Turkey and Lebanon. “That’s an enormous amount of money for any UN operation,” he said. “And we’re short, so it is still a funding crisis.”

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Anglican Journal News, February 25, 2015

‘Eco-bishops’ gather in Cape Town for climate summit

Posted on: February 23rd, 2015 by CEP Administrator No Comments
News

By André Forget

Bishops from across the Global Anglican Communion will share “actions and theologies” that can helpfully respond to climate change. Photo: Mark Van Overmeire/Shutterstock

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

From February 23rd to 27th, Bishop Jane Alexander of the diocese of Edmonton and National Indigenous Anglican Bishop Mark MacDonald will join 15 other bishops from across the Anglican Communion in Cape Town, South Africa, to discuss ways in which the Anglican Church can respond concretely to the issue of climate change.

The  “Eco-Bishops conference” brings together bishops from countries affected by climate change, for the purpose of listening to each other’s challenges and sharing “actions and theologies that have been helpful in moving forward,” said a press release issued by the Anglican Church of Southern Africa. “Bishops have been chosen from countries reflecting the great challenges we face, from the sea level rise of Fiji, the deforestation of Argentina, the droughts of Namibia, the tsunamis of the Philippines and the storms of New York, and the warming of Alaska.”

Archbishop Thabo Makgoba, primate of the Anglican Church of South Africa and Chair of the Anglican Communion Environmental Network (ACEN) is hosting the conference.

When the Anglican Journal spoke with MacDonald shortly before his departure for South Africa, he was optimistic about what the conference could achieve.

“I think that all of us would like to see communion-wide effective action on climate change and environmental issues,” MacDonald said, adding that he was particularly happy to see that attention was being paid as well to how indigenous people relate to climate change.

“That is a huge issue,” he said, “but oftentimes hidden even from environmentalists. I think that we will be able to articulate fairly well in this context the unique threat to indigenous peoples of climate change, but also how the perspective of indigenous peoples really points towards a more hopeful future.”

Canada has an important voice in the conference, both as a country that is contributing to climate change, and as one of its greatest victims, said MacDonald. “The place most dramatically and rapidly being affected by climate change is the Arctic,” he said, “and the people of the Arctic are not the people who are causing this.”

But for progress to be made, MacDonald said it is necessary to move past simple victim/perpetrator categories. “I think that clearcut villains, as satisfying as that might feel emotionally, is not the way to solve this problem,” he said. “This is clearly a problem created not just by bad parts of human nature, but by good parts of human nature.”

Extensive planning has gone into the meeting, including advance readings and pre-discussions over Skype. “I think that this group more than others is careful about talking about this and then hopping in planes and coming so far,” he said. “I think that there was a very strong attempt to do whatever we could do apart from being together…I would say that this is as hard a working conference as I’ve been involved with in the Anglican Communion.”

Also attending the conference are Bishops Andrew Dietsche (Episcopal diocese of New York), Nick Drayson (Diocese of Northern Argentina), Nicholas Holtam (Diocese of Salisbury, Church of England), David Chillingworth (Bishop of St. Andrews, Scottish Episcopal Church), Chad Gandiya (diocese of Harare), William Mchombo (Diocese of Eastern Zambia), Ellinah Wamukoya (Diocese of Swaziland), Stephen Moreo (diocese of Johannesburg), Nathaniel Nakwatumbah (Diocese of Namibia), Thomas Oommen (Diocese of Madhya Kerala, Church of South India), Andrew Chan (Diocese of West Kowloon, Hong Kong), Jonathan Casimina (Diocese of Davao, Episcopal Church in the Philippines), Tom Wilmot (Diocese of Perth), and Apimeleki Qiliho (Diocese of Polynesia: Vanua Levu and Taveuni).

Those interested in following the conference remotely can do so on social media via the @GreenAnglicans Twitter handle and on Facebook.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Anglican Journal News, February 23, 2015

Anglicans divided over right-to-die ruling

Posted on: February 14th, 2015 by CEP Administrator No Comments
News

 

By Andre Forget and Leigh Anne Williams

 

While some Anglicans have affirmed the Supreme Court’s ruling on assisted dying, others are concerned it may endanger the most vulnerable. Photo: Shutterstock

 

 

The Supreme Court of Canada’s decision to strike down the ban on assisted dying reveals just how diverse opinions on this subject are within the Anglican Church of Canada.

This was acknowledged directly in the diocese of New Westminster’s press release on the decision, which notes that, “Like many important issues, there is a wide range of opinion around the Anglican Church of Canada and in the churches of the Diocese of New Westminster…. A variety of views is characteristic of Anglicanism.”

John Chapman, bishop of the diocese of Ottawa, was unequivocal in his support. “I’m ecstatic,” he said. “Current practice, prior to the new legislation, has been so black and white that it has been unhelpful for those people who are living with unbearable suffering.” Chapman noted that the ruling “puts the decision back into the hands of the individual” even as he stressed that with freedom comes “enormous responsibility that will need to be exercised with prayerful caution and integrity that respects the dignity of human beings.”

Bishop Stephen Andrews of the diocese of Algoma, however, was “disappointed,” citing concerns over the vagueness of the decision’s wording and voicing concerns that the judgment was “lacking in definition.”

The historic ruling limits doctor-assisted suicides to “a competent adult person who clearly consents to the termination of life and has a grievous and irremediable medical condition, including an illness, disease or disability, that causes enduring suffering that is intolerable to the individual in the circumstances of his or her condition.” Andrews said the decision doesn’t define competence nor describe what consent means. “I’ve just been in too many situations where people are in extremis [in an extremely difficult situation], where there are a host of psychological and emotional factors involved, which could complicate the decision under the definitions provided by the Supreme Court,” he said. “For example, if an individual was severely depressed, would they be competent, would they be capable of giving rational consent?”

Linda Nicholls, area bishop for Trent-Durham in the diocese of Toronto, noted that while “public opinion has been moving in this direction for some time, ” Canadians might not fully understand what medical options are already available, such as cessation of treatment – and like Andrews, she, too, was worried about vagueness of the language.

Though the court struck down the ban on assisted dying, it is not yet clear how new legislation will be crafted to deal with the new legal reality. The decision will not take effect for another 12 months, and whether it will be dealt with at the federal level, or if the rest of the provinces will take Quebec’s lead and create legal guidelines around assisted dying independently has yet to be seen.

If both federal and provincial governments fail to draft new laws, assisted dying will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

For Bishop Jane Alexander of Edmonton, it was important to see these developments in light the church’s historical and ongoing role in the provision of care. While the context for that care has changed, the mandate remains the same.

“We’ve consistently supported in the Anglican Church the use of palliative care and pain relief, and we know that sometimes pain relief can sometimes risk hastening death, but it’s a different field now,” she said.

Chapman, Andrews, Nicholls and Alexander all underscored the need to have conversations about how the church can help people navigate the complexities of the ruling.

Andrews said that while the House of Bishops tackled the right-to-die issue when it met last fall, more discussions are necessary. He is not convinced that the church has dealt with the issue from a theological perspective. “We need to talk a lot more about the nature of life and the difference between the intention to shorten life and the intention not to prolong the dying process. It’s a fine distinction,” he said.

“Just because people have the legal right to it doesn’t mean that that is a decision or a choice that they will make,” said Nicholls, “that’s where chaplains will need to sit with people of faiths and no faith – their role will be to listen very carefully to how human life is understood by the individual.”  When they are acting in the capacity of an Anglican chaplain, she said, their role would be to explain the church’s view on end-of-life. “That doesn’t mean that they are giving them an answer or insisting that they act in a particular way because at every level, a person’s conscience is the final judge.”

Nicholls expressed the hope that the ruling “will push us as communities to ask how do we better support people who are facing suffering that is chronic or terminal or intolerable and what are we doing to…support them and their families if they choose to make a decision that we disagree with.” Anglicans strongly believe in the sanctity of life and the gift of life, Nicholls said, “but we also respect that in the face of very difficult decisions, that individuals may choose a way that is not in the direction that church policy would take…”

How the church will minister to people given the change was also a question raised by Alexander.  “How can we support people at those times of their lives when they are in the most difficult situations of trying to make decisions?” she said.  “I suspect that one of the questions that families might have for chaplains and clergy is, ‘Do you think I am doing the right thing?’ And so those kinds of conversations are going to be very difficult to walk alongside because it is for people to make those decisions for themselves…Our job is to be there and provide prayerful and loving support and to proclaim hope even in these darkest of times.”

Chapman said he expects people to look to the church to provide “compassionate, helpful and insightful guidance” in understanding the ruling. “I think a challenge now rests before every diocese in the country to do whatever they can to help people to understand the implications of this new legislation.”

Despite the anxiety this decision has caused in some quarters, recent polling suggests that an overwhelming 84% of Canadians are in favour of allowing some form of physician-assisted dying, and some members of the clergy active in hospital visitation and chaplaincy have accepted that these measures are necessary for dealing with the complexities of modern healthcare.

They are also acutely aware of how much this could change in their practice on the ground.

The Rev. Keirsten Wells, the coordinating diocesan health care chaplain for the diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, was quick to point out that not all patients are in the same situation.

“It seems like a really good decision for a competent individual who is diagnosed with a terminal illness and wants to decide how they are going to engage in their own death,” she said. “I don’t know how it will impact people in the hospital who hadn’t anticipated their imminent death…who get up in the morning and think they are going to have a normal day and have a huge stroke and by the end of the week they are in discussions with doctors about whether to continue life support.”

While Wells personally believes this development to be a “positive” one, she is aware of how complicated it will be when put into practice.

For Dean Iain Luke, who serves St James Anglican Church in Peace River in the diocese of Athabasca,  and is often involved in care for the dying, the question was likewise less a matter of right or wrong and more about how the church should respond.

“I think it’s just complicated,” he said. “The world we are in has changed in this decision, and in a public policy sense it doesn’t matter much if we are for it or against it. And actually, from a Gospel sense I’m not sure that it matters that much either.”

Of greater importance to both Luke and Wells was attentiveness to the relationship between palliative care as it is currently practiced and the new – and as of yet, hard to predict – effects of the court’s decision.

While admitting that it would be “very difficult to assess” the decisions impact on palliative care, Luke expressed his hope that funding to palliative care would, in fact, be increased.

“If people are confronted by the reality that others are going to choose death because they don’t have appropriate care while dying, that may stir people to say that we need to be there for them,” he said.

For the Rev. Joanne Davies, the good thing that has come out of the court decision is that “we’re actually going to talk about death and dying and actually name it.” She expressed the hope that people – especially in the church – will actually say death and dying instead of using such euphemisms as “passing away, gone on, left us, lost.” The hope, too, is that people will see that “passage to death is one form of care,” said Davies, an Anglican chaplain in the diocese of Toronto, who serves as an ecumenical chaplain at Toronto’s Mt. Sinai Hospital and other health care centres in the city.

On Facebook, Anglicans also offered diverse views on the ruling. Roger Woodford was in favour of the decision saying,  “You can argue slippery slope to your heart’s content, but the fact remains that we’ve prolonged life to such an extent that sometimes existence itself becomes pure torture.”  George Ryder, who has worked in hospitals as a registered nurse, said doctor-assisted suicide was a “sad commentary on life.” Canadians have access to “amazing [facilities] offering palliative care to those who are dying in a compassionate way,” he said, adding that physicians whose role is to save lives may find it to difficult to participate in ending people’s lives.

Excerpts of the interviews can be found here

(Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to include comments from readers, including laity.)

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Anglican Journal News, February 12, 2015

Advocate for women’s rights in the church remembered

Posted on: February 14th, 2015 by CEP Administrator No Comments
News

 

By Anglican Journal staff

Both professionally and as a volunteer, Edith Shore worked to advance causes such as women’s inclusion in the church, helping women who have been incarcerated rebuild their lives, and ending the HIV/AIDS health crisis.  Photo: Contributed


 

Edith Shore, a strong advocate for social justice and women’s rights and inclusion in the church, died on Jan. 24 in Newmarket, Ont., at the age of 78.

Shore graduated from the Anglican Women’s Training College in Winnipeg in the late 1950s. She continued to support the school throughout her life, serving on the board for 23 years, including a time as president. She helped see the school through its merger with Covenant College to form the present-day Centre for Christian Studies.

As a young graduate, Shore began working in parish ministry as director of Christian education, and then in the early 1960s, she worked as the diocese of Toronto’s director of youth work. Shore helped pioneer youth ministry and, few years later, continued her work at the national offices of the Anglican Church of Canada, where she worked for the General Board of Religious Education from 1963 to 1968, where she wrote and edited many educational resources.  She also worked on women’s committees in the church.

Shore (nee Clift) married William Shore and left her work with General Synod in the mid-1960s to raise their children, but she continued to do some freelance writing and volunteering. In 1970, she worked with several groups advocating for women’s rights and inclusion in the Anglican Church and ecumenically. She served on the planning committee for the first ecumenical Women and the Church Conference.

In 1981, Shore was hired by Canadian Council of Churches as associate secretary for Canadian concerns, responsible for social justice issues.  She also did contract work for the Anglican Church, including on the AIDS working group.

In the 1990s, Shore served as a staff member on the interchurch working group on violence and sexual abuse and became deeply involved in justice and corrections issues, particularly related to women. In that role, she published a book in 2000 titled “Lying Down with Lions: Building the Peaceable Kingdom : Helping Women Who Have Served Time in Prison and Building Healthy Communities.

With many family and friends, Shore is mourned by her husband William, sons Geoffrey (and wife Alexandra) of Newmarket, Ont. and Peter (and wife Miranda) of Toronto and grandchildren Ryan and Claire.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Anglican Journal News, February 12, 2015

Hiltz: Right-to-die ruling needs church’s ‘serious attention’

Posted on: February 11th, 2015 by CEP Administrator No Comments
News

 

By André Forget

 

The church remains “deeply committed to the ministry of accompanying people in their lifelong journey,” says the primate, Archbishop Fred Hiltz in a statement on the Supreme Court ruling on doctor-assisted dying. File photo: General Synod Communications


Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, issued a statement Tuesday night on the Supreme Court’s ruling on physician-assisted dying in which he called on Anglicans to “exhibit an unwavering resolve to include those most affected by our deliberations” in conversations around end-of-life issues.

While acknowledging the diverse opinions Anglicans hold on these matters, Hiltz emphasized that the church must listen to those “suffering through intolerable physical pain, emotional anguish and spiritual turmoil” as it engages in conversations about physician-assisted dying.

“We recognize the need to walk in a particular way with those who are suffering debilitating illnesses. We recognize the need to offer people a listening ear and a pastoral heart as in the face of death they ponder the meaning and value of their lives,” he said, adding that the church also recognizes “the importance of a person’s right to dignity in life and death.”

Hiltz noted that both those who see this as “cause for “celebration” and those who see it as “cause for great concern” add important perspectives to the situation. But he said, “whatever one’s perspective, serious attention needs to be given to the court ruling’s intent and application” and conversations must include the church and the Canadian society at large.

Hiltz said Care in Dying, a report produced in 2000 and which the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada commended for study throughout the church, remains “a valuable” resource for parishes.

He noted that this document called for a renewal of “the church’s commitment to the provision of the best quality of palliative care in keeping with the dignity and sanctity of human life.” While the Supreme Court ruling has changed the legal situation, Hiltz sees these principles as being in line with those espoused in the Care in Dying report.

That  report also called the church to “sustain the commitment to care even when it is no longer possible to cure,” and suggests that cessation of treatment may be part of that care, but “does not support the idea that care can include an act or omission whose primary intention is to end a person’s life,” arguing that health care delivery should “reflect the desire of Canadians to be a community that sustains the dignity and worth of its members.”

Care in Dying also highlighted concerns over the possible abuse that might come with the legalization of euthanasia, namely that it “could present special risks for those in our society who are already vulnerable.”

The primate also noted that the church has “re-opened the conversation” by appointing a task force on physician-assisted suicide through the Faith, Worship and Ministry committee. The group includes legal and medical experts as well as ethicists and pastors who represent “a declared diversity of opinion over what constitutes appropriate end-of-life care,” and has been asked to “resource and guide us in these discussions.”

The Supreme Court’s unanimous decision last week to strike down the ban on assisted dying came after it was successfully argued that such a ban violated the rights of an individual suffering from a “grievous and irremediable medical condition that causes enduring and intolerable suffering” to “life, liberty, and security of the person,” and was therefore unconstitutional.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Anglican Journal News, February 10, 2015

Church’s response to assisted death ruling expected this spring

Posted on: February 10th, 2015 by CEP Administrator No Comments
News

 

By André Forget

 

The church’s end-of-life conversations must include the notion that “care is something which is exercised both toward the individual with whom we are dealing, but also in regards to the wider society and the implications of those actions for the well-being of all,” says task force chair, the Rev. Canon Eric Beresford. Photo: Shutterstock


 

Following a landmark decision by the Supreme Court of Canada on Feb. 6 to strike down as unconstitutional the ban on assisted dying, the Anglican Church of Canada’s task force on physician-assisted suicide will release this spring a new document outlining the church’s response and guidelines for how Anglicans should work within the new legal reality.

“I rather expected this would happen,” said the Rev. Canon Eric Beresford, an ethicist from the diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island who serves on the task force, which began meeting in late 2014, following Quebec’s decision to pass legislation allowing for assisted dying. “It now means that the previous statement of the Anglican Church of Canada, Care in Dying, at the very least needs to be redeveloped in response to this situation.”

Care in Dying: A Consideration of the Practices of Euthanasia and Physician Assisted Suicide was published in 2000 and commended for study across the church by General Synod. While acknowledging the diversity of opinions on the matter within the church, the report suggested that the church should “oppose any shift in public policy leading to the legalization of euthanasia in our society at the present time.”

The shift, however, has happened, and the question now is how the church will respond.

Beresford, who was the editor for Care in Dying, said it would be important to remember the theological principles that have guided the church thus far.

“The principle that was at stake in the 1990s when we wrote our last document was the notion of care,” he said. “[The Supreme Court] decision indicates that, by and large, our culture—and many in our church—have come to the conclusion that, in some cases, care does involve assisting people in their dying.”

For Beresford, the church’s starting point in this conversation must be an awareness that “care is something which is exercised both toward the individual with whom we are dealing, but also in regards to the wider society and the implications of those actions for the well-being of all.”

But while the Supreme Court decision changes both the legal reality and, when it comes into effect a year from now, the reality on the ground, Beresford noted that the court’s ruling was somewhat “ambiguous” when it came to the full ramifications of its decision.

The decision states that the ban on assisted dying is unconstitutional insofar as it denies those suffering from a “grievous and irremediable medical condition that causes enduring and intolerable suffering” of their rights to “life, liberty and security of the person,” and that an absolute prohibition of euthanasia is not necessary in order to protect the lives of the vulnerable. However, it does relatively little to outline how broadly terms like “grievous and irremediable” can be applied.

“Each of these terms is appallingly vague,” said Beresford. “This decision, while some think it may have finished the conversation, in fact blows it wide open, and requires some very careful critical thinking.”

Beresford went on to suggest that one of the key questions will be ascertaining what circumstances allow a doctor to aid a patient in dying, and what criteria are required to ensure that patients receive proper counselling in the face of these decisions.

He estimated that the task force will likely have a new statement of some kind prepared by spring, but that it was not yet clear whether this would replace or simply provide an update to Care in Dying.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Anglican Journal News, February 10, 2015

A Statement from the Primate on the Supreme Court’s Ruling on Physician-Assisted Dying

Posted on: February 10th, 2015 by CEP Administrator No Comments
News

The recent ruling of the Supreme Court of Canada, striking down the long held ban on physician-assisted dying is cause for celebration among many Canadians and cause for great concern among many others.

For those who have long advocated for a person’s right, in the face of immense and intolerable suffering, to end their life with medical assistance the ruling is a victory. For those who hold to the conviction that our life is something larger than any individual person’s “ownership” of it, and is not simply ours to “discard” the ruling is deeply troubling.

Whatever one’s perspective, serious attention needs to be given to the court ruling’s intent and application. While enabling legislation may not be imminent, we know consideration of any new laws will be a matter of intense public interest and debate within Canadian society at large, within the country’s medical community, and certainly within and among the churches, including ours.

In 1998 the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada received and commended for study throughout the church a document entitled Care in Dying.

Grounded in the hope we embrace as Christians this document called for a renewal of the church’s commitment to the provision of the best quality of palliative care in keeping with the dignity and sanctity of human life.

The document reminded us that “The Anglican Church of Canada shares with other Christian communities in a long history of providing many forms of health care, healing, and support of the suffering and dying. Churches have actively supported the development of palliative care facilities and practices, including pain management. This commitment is expressed in the central role they have played in the development of hospices and palliative care institutions in many parts of the world. In Canada these programs involve health care professionals and volunteers from the church community in the attempt to alleviate pain and maintain dignity of life even at the moment of death. Christians are called by God to take part in caring communities that make God’s love real for those who are suffering or facing death. It is through these communities that we bear witness to the possibility that human life can have dignity and meaning even in the context of the realities of pain, suffering, and death.”

The document called us to uphold “good medical practice that sustains the commitment to care even when it is no longer possible to cure. Such care may involve the removal of therapies that are ineffective and/or intolerably burdensome, in favour of palliative measures. We do not support the idea that care can include an act or omission whose primary intention is to end a person’s life. Our underlying commitment is that health care delivery as a whole should reflect the desire of Canadians to be a community that sustains the dignity and worth of all its members.”

The document highlighted some of the same concerns that have already been named in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s ruling; especially its warning that “the legalization of euthanasia could present special risks for those in our society who are already vulnerable,” particularly the elderly, children, and those whose mental capacity has been compromised.

Care in Dying continues to be a valuable study resource for parishes wanting to engage the topic from the deep wells of our faith, and is available online: www.anglican.ca/faith/focus/ethics/care-in-dying/

In response to the re-emergence of this important topic on the country’s agenda, our church has reopened the conversation. A task force on physician-assisted death has been established through Faith, Worship and Ministry to resource and guide us in these discussions. Chaired by the Rev. Canon Eric Beresford, it includes expertise from the medical, nursing, and legal professions as well as expertise from ethicists and pastors, particularly chaplains engaged in the care of the terminally ill. Even within the task force there is a declared diversity of opinion over what constitutes appropriate end-of-life care.

The bishops from our church and our full communion partner, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, have also renewed their engagement in this conversation.

As conversations continue we must exhibit an unwavering resolve to include those most affected by our deliberations: those suffering through intolerable physical pain, emotional anguish and spiritual turmoil. Let us hear their voices and those of their families.

As a church we remain deeply committed to the ministry of accompanying people in their lifelong journey. We recognize the need to walk in a particular way with those who are suffering debilitating illnesses. We recognize the need to offer people a listening ear and a pastoral heart as in the face of death they ponder the meaning and value of their lives. We recognize the importance of a person’s right to dignity in life and in death.

In these matters of immense human suffering and our sure and certain hope in God’s promises, I encourage our church’s continuing engagement and prayers.

Fred H - Black

The Most Reverend Fred Hiltz
Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada

 

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Strengthening ties with the Holy Land

Posted on: February 7th, 2015 by CEP Administrator No Comments
News

The advisory council for the Canadian Companions of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem: (L to R) the Rev. Richard LeSueur, the Rev. Patricia Kirkpatrick, Deborah Neal, General Synod global relations director Andrea Mann, Archbishop Fred Hiltz and the Rev. Robert Assaly           Photo: Leigh Anne Williams


As the Anglican Church of Canada prepares to observe its second annual Jerusalem Sunday, as a day set aside to learn about and build support for the ministries of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem, Archbishop Fred Hiltz and global relations director Andrea Mann are preparing for a journey to Israel, Palestine and Jordan. The aim is to deepen the partnership between the Canadian church and the diocese.

Hiltz and Mann will travel from March 4 to 16. This will be the primate’s first trip to Jordan. “We will have a full exposure to the parishes, the schools and to the health clinics and hospitals of the Episcopal Church in Jordan,” said Mann. “The purpose of the visit also is to continue to develop and deepen our analysis of issues pertaining to work for peace.” They hope to be able to meet with Syrian and Iraqi refugees in Jordan.

The primate has also been invited to preach and to preside over the renewal of baptism vows in the Jordan River, the place where believers say Jesus was baptized.

While in Jerusalem, they hope to meet with both the representative of Canada to the Palestinian Authority, based in Ramallah, and the Canadian ambassador to Israel, “as part of the ongoing work to keep an open conversation with people who represent the Canadian government,” said Mann.

Canon John Organ, who has been serving as chaplain to Archbishop Dawani for a three-year term, will return to Canada in May, and Mann said she and Hiltz will meet with him and his wife, Irene, to hear about their ministry and “to begin to accompany them in their leave-taking and resettling here in Canada in the diocese of Ottawa.”

Archbishop Dawani has invited the Anglican Church of Canada to send another Canadian priest to succeed Organ. “We are going to have a conversation with him about that. We are considering it seriously,” said Mann, noting that Organ’s ministry there has been a “way of living into more fulsome and deep partnership so that we are more connected.”

Meanwhile, meeting at the national church offices in Toronto from Feb. 2 to 4, the advisory council for the Canadian Companions of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem worked on plans for this year’s Jerusalem Sunday celebration on May 17, the seventh Sunday of Easter, and for building the companions’ network throughout the country.

Council chair the Rev. Patricia Kirkpatrick said the companions were “very much impressed with” and want to build on the response from parishes that participated in the first Jerusalem Sunday last year. “That’s not to say that every parish took it on—or every diocese, for that matter—and so we’re looking to see that grow, but we were certainly very happy with the response,” she said in an interview with the Journal.

Mann said that evaluations from parishes that participated in Jerusalem Sunday last year suggested that the event should be “more intentional with asking for funds,” and have offering envelopes for ministry in the diocese of Jerusalem. Participating parishes also asked for more liturgical resources.  In response, she said, special envelopes, bookmarks and other materials will be available upon request from the global relations office and will be mailed out to parishes that intend to observe Jerusalem Sunday this year.

Mann added that in early March, more liturgical resources, including the eucharist rite and prayers of the people used in the diocese of Jerusalem, will be added to the resources already available. Those resources include a prayer written by Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, and featured on the Jerusalem Sunday web page, which is part of the companions’ web hub on the church’s website.

Those looking to learn more about the ministries of the diocese of Jerusalem can find resources on Journey to Jerusalem Sunday, a multimedia web page produced by the Anglican Journal and Anglican Video in 2014. The diocese focuses on providing health, education and hospitality as an expression of faith in the midst of the region’s conflicts and hardships. Anglican Video staff travelled to the diocese to interview Archbishop Suheil Dawani and other clergy, as well as people working at the Ali Arab hospital in Gaza, the Princess Basma School, which serves children living with disabilities, and the Penman Clinic in Zababdeh. The Journal provided a timeline of the conflict in the Middle East and other stories offering context for understanding the challenges in the region.

The primate reported that the Anglican Church of Canada’s full communion partner, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, will also have a day of prayers for Jerusalem and the Holy Land on May 17.

Currently there are just over 100 companions, including individuals, parishes and dioceses. The military ordinariate is a member and a couple of ACW groups are companions, Mann added.

Kirkpatrick said the companions will work to build their network across the country and hope to find regional leaders who will help to better connect the organization. “There’s a phenomenal energy in terms of wanting to develop this…it’s just that you’ve got to keep that momentum going,” she said, adding that she is very grateful for the work of the previous chair, the Rev. Richard LeSueur, in building a solid foundation.

Mann added that the group hopes to be able to tell Archbishop Dawani and his wife, Shafeeqa, when they are guests at General Synod 2016 in Toronto, that every diocese and every cathedral have become companions.

For Jerusalem Sunday resources, please contact Claudia Alvarez, global relations program associate, at 416-924-9199 ext. 270 or email: calvarez@national.anglican.ca

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Anglican Journal News, February 06, 2015

Diocese of Huron youth organize Right to Water activities

Posted on: February 3rd, 2015 by CEP Administrator No Comments
News

 

NYP two kids

Fundraising and education efforts in the Diocese of Huron are providing a vivid example of how young Anglicans can support the ongoing Right to Water initiative of the National Youth Project (NYP).

From 2012 to 2016, the NYP is seeking to raise $20,000 to deliver potable drinking water and wastewater facilities to one home in the isolated northern community of Pikangikum, Ont.—part of a larger initiative by the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund to equip 10 homes in this manner. It also hopes to raise awareness of water issues generally.

In the Diocese of Huron, many young people who are fundraising to attend the 2016 Canadian Lutheran Anglican Youth Gathering—the event that bookends the NYP—are pledging to donate 10 per cent to the Right to Water initiative.

“I think our youth are becoming more aware of the fact that water is not just a crisis in other places,” said the Rev. Sharla Malliff, diocesan youth chaplain and assistant curate at the Holy Saviour and All Saints Churches.

“When you think about water issues, you think about places like Africa and its lack of water and the situation there, but [youth] don’t often think about [it] in their own country…I think as they learn about it, the kids generally want to make a difference,” she added.

“Our students always want to save the world…Let’s empower them to do that.”

In the Deanery of Essex, which last year took on the NYP as its fundraiser event, young Anglicans and their families raised almost $300 for the project last May through their participation in a fundraising bike ride, which is likely to take place again this year.

The deanery also collected donations over the holiday season through a project in which people would pledge dollar amounts for empty water bottles that would then be turned into Christmas decorations.

The Rev. Paul Poolton, rector of St. Stephen’s and Church of the Redeemer and chair of the diocesan youth committee, has a personal connection with the Right to Water concept, having been present in the town of Walkerton, Ont., during the 2000 crisis in which the local water supply was contaminated by E. coli bacteria.

“The right to have clean, safe drinking water has always been very, very important to me since then…When I found out that the National Youth Project was the Right to Water [initiative], I engaged with that immediately,” Poolton said.

Along with fundraising, education has been a major focus for diocesan youth taking part in the NYP.

The diocesan youth committee is currently looking at using the water Bible studies available through justgeneration.ca as a tool to help raise awareness of water issues and to brainstorm ideas for future events.

During the fundraising bike ride, Poolton facilitated an education component offering information on Pikangikum and water issues.

Meanwhile, the Right to Water initiative was the focus of the diocesan youth conference in 2013.

“The more educated you become about the National Youth Project, the more you will find a natural engagement to it,” Poolton said.

“If we educate ourselves…around the issues, we can’t help as a gospel people [but] to engage in the work of the National Youth Project.”

Learn more about the National Youth Project and how you can get involved.

See also:

Right to Water project helps youth make a difference

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Anglican Church of Canada, News from General Synod, February 03, 2015

Rt Revd Libby Lane consecrated at York Minster

Posted on: January 29th, 2015 by CEP Administrator No Comments
News

 

Photo Credit: Getty Images

The Rt Revd Libby Lane has been consecrated as the first female bishop in the Church of England in a packed service at York Minster today attended by more than 100 bishops from the Church of England and women bishops from across the Anglican Communion.

In a statement shortly after being consecrated, Bishop Libby said she had been encouraged by the thousands of messages of support she has received since the news of her appointment was announced. She said:

“Archbishop Sentamu has observed, “the way that we show our faith and our love for one another is with two simple things, prayer and parties.” Today is an occasion of prayer and of party – and I am thrilled that so many want to share in both. I cannot properly express how encouraged I have been in the weeks since the announcement of my nomination, by the thousands of messages I have received with words of congratulation, support and wisdom. I’ve heard from people of all ages, women and men – people I have known for years, and people I have never met; people from down the road, and people from across the world.

“Many those who have been in touch have little or no contact with the Church of England; not all have been people of faith, but every one of them has felt this moment marks something important. That all this personal – and media – attention has centred on me has been a little overwhelming: I cannot possibly live up to everyone’s expectation. And so today, at my consecration, I hold on to words of promise from the Bible, a reassurance that all this does not depend on me … ‘the God who calls you is faithful: He will do it’ (1 Thessalonians 5:24).

“My consecration service is not really about me. With echoes of practice which has been in place for hundreds of years in the church, it is a reminder that what I am about to embark on is shared by the bishops around me, by those who have gone before me and those who will come after. It places the ministry of a bishop in the context of the ministry of all God’s people. And most importantly it retells the good news of Jesus, the faithful one, who calls each of us to follow him.

“Thank you to all who are praying for me and partying with me today. Please continue to hold me in your prayers as, after the example of St Timothy and St Titus who are celebrated by the Church on this day, I share in work of proclaiming the gospel, in word and action, and bearing witness to the name of Jesus.”

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS), January 26, 2015